VAT Newsletter 5/2014

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The European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) has ruled on case C-492/13 (Traum EOOD)

The dispute in this case refers to the Bulgarian tax authorities’ refusal to accept the VAT exemption for intra-Community supplies performed by Traum (“Traum” or the “Company”) to a company established in Greece, on the grounds that at the date of the purchase of the goods, the Greek company was not registered for VAT purposes in its country, although after the VIES database check of the VAT code it resulted that such is valid. Therefore, after a subsequent fiscal control, the Bulgarian authorities have issued a rectifying tax decision through which VAT was imposed for the intra-community supplies performed by Traum to the Greek company, although initially a reimbursement decision was issued for Traum.

The ECJ concluded that the provisions of the VAT Directive must be interpreted as precluding the tax authorities of a Member State from refusing to grant a VAT exemption in respect of an intra-Community supply of goods on the ground that 

  • the purchaser was not registered for VAT in another Member State and
  • the supplier has proven neither the authenticity of the signature on the documents submitted in support of its declaration in respect of a supply it claims to be VAT exempt nor that the person who signed those documents on behalf of the purchaser had the authority to represent the purchaser, where the evidence establishing entitlement to the exemption submitted by the supplier in support of its declaration is consistent with the list of documents to be submitted to those authorities under national law and has been accepted by them, initially, as supporting evidence

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